I arrive at the wetlands, bundled up for winter rather than spring. The trail beneath my feet is the same. The scene to either side is always different. One more cat tail swaying in the breeze or the entertaining sound of geese overhead making their semi-awkward landing on the pond. Where did they come from? How long were they gone? Who, pray tell is the leader and why? I don’t want to know the answers. I would rather be intrigued than informed.
My walks become my thoughts. That is the usual experience but today is different. I am walking for ten toddlers. Ten spongy toddlers absorbing new sights, sounds, textures and words. My mission is to collect six different pieces of nature. These will be used to fill six plastic bottles, at which point they become “sensory bottles”, an activity of visual exploration and appreciation for the earth. As my steps become automatic, my eyes scour the ground for interesting specimens.
Sticks in a mixture of earthen colours, evergreen sprigs with intricate needles, maple tree buds bursting, beach sand with driftwood and shells, a dried milkweed plant left open and exposed from winter’s freeze and finally, ten tiny pine-cones for counting. I imagine seeing these gifts for the first time through a two year old’s eyes. I head back along the trail’s paved loop. My pockets are full. My heart is fuller.
downy sun-kissed and wind-blessed
wide eyed and waiting
It’s Haibun Monday but this prompt is open all week! Bjorn is our host at dVerse Poets Pub and he has asked us to write a haibun about walking. Doors open at 3 p.m. EST.